The former finance director of Connecticut House Speaker Chris Donovan's campaign for the state's 5th congressional district pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges involving an alleged conspiracy to conceal the sources of more than $20,000 in campaign contributions.
The federal criminal charges against 33-year-old Robert Braddock Jr. accuse him, with four unindicted co-conspirators, of trying to hide donations from "roll-your-own" tobacco companies, which were reportedly seeking to kill pending legislation that would have placed burdensome taxes and fees on them.
"This indictment details an extensive conspiracy to corrupt the electoral process," said U.S. Attorney David B. Fein, the main prosecutor in the case.
The indictment against Braddock could be damaging to Donovan's campaign, as he aims to win the Democratic primary on August 14. Donovan, the frontrunner in the race, has denied any knowledge of the conspiracy, but his opponents smell blood.
“It is time for Chris Donovan to withdraw from the primary race for the good of the Connecticut Democratic Party and to protect the seat,” said Dan Roberti, who is running against Donovan for the party's nomination. “New revelations in the indictment show Chris Donovan just a breath away from the questionable activities of his campaign staff. We will lose the seat if Chris Donovan is the nominee, so he must remove himself from the primary race.”
10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:
Greens Come To City To Pick Presidential Nominee [Baltimore Sun]
Senate Passes Special Elections Law for D.C. [NBC Washington]
Ex-N.C. House Speaker Harold Brubaker resigns [AP]
Michigan Members Of Congress In Lockstep With Obama, Romney On Tax Cuts [Mlive.com]
Foes Of Congressional Map Meet Target [Baltimore Sun]
N.D. Sees Record Number Of Ads In U.S. Senate Race [AP]
Polls Set To Open For Early Voting [Memphis Daily News]
Heitkamp Raises Nearly $1 Million In Second Quarter [AP]
State Legislators Speak Out Against Medicaid Expansion At Conway Town Hall [KARK 4 News]
Truth Needle: Too Many Middle Managers In Government? Inslee Distorts Reality [Seattle Times]